A while ago I was contemplating to get myself a new phone.
When O2 announced the release of Atom, I was almost certain that that would be my next phone. As it turns out, the reviews online weren’t too positive. Many who bought the Atom were terribly disappointed and agreed that it was a waste of RM2,988 that could’ve gone into a brand new notebook instead.
Enter the lesser-known Taiwanese brands Dopod 838 and the Eten M600. Compared to the Atom, these two models are cheaper and comes with their own sets of extras.
The Dopod 838 came with built-in keyboard, which personally I despise on a PDA Phone. It’s so ugly!
The Eten M600 suits my tastes better, so I purchased it for RM2,450 (with free 256MB SD Card thrown in) at The Gadget Shop in Lowyat Plaza KL. That’s a savings of over half a grand compared to the O2 Atom!
Here’s the stuff inside the box: the M600, a leather case, a USB cradle, earphones, installation CD, and some weird pieces of paper with all those legal mumbo-jumbo that nobody reads.
I have to admit, the M600 unit itself doesn’t have the sex appeal of the O2 Atom. The casing itself is made of cheap black plastic instead of those shiny brushed metal cases that all self-respecting PDAs boast. The programmable buttons at the front are particularly filmsly-looking.
The stylus is secured in a hole underneath the PDA. Compared to most other PDAs, the stylus here is big and long so it feels like
a dickonosaurus holding a Kilometrico pen instead of holding a toothpick.
The placement of the stylus is a lil bit unconventional, but this is actually a more convenient location once I get used to it.
On the side, there are buttons to activate the camera, a volume-control, a voice command button (for moments when you feel like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible), and a tiny soft reset button.
On the top of the M600 is the power switch and a SD Card slot. I like how Eten retains the use of legacy SD Cards. Both the O2 Atom and Dopod 838 forces you to use the new mini-SD Cards, which is considerably more expensive while offering no significant size reduction.
Compared to the O2 Mini, the Eten M600 is slightly bigger, thicker.
It comes equipped with a 1.3 Megapixels and offers resolutions of up to 1280×960.
Like every other phone cameras in its class, the M600 suffers from obvious image quality issues. The phone camera is obviously no replacement for a dedicated digital camera. But at least you can take spy shots of random people without them knowing. 😉
Here’s the M600 sitting on its UFO-like USB cradle. They’re not the sexiest looking combination of them all, but owning the M600 is like dating an ugly girl. You don’t really like it at first, but it grows on you after a while.
Connectivity-wise, the M600 offers all the options under the sun, except infrared connection. Besides, which loser uses infrared these days?
It supports WiFi which means you can log on to the Internet for free at Starbucks, read kennysia.com, or even make a free long-distance phone call using Skype. I called Australia last night and the quality is just like a normal telephone call, albeit a little laggy.
The Eten M600 runs the latest Windows Mobile 5.0, which is a great piece of software! The number of things you could do with this new OS GREATLY surpasses any other phones available in the market today. Make no mistake about it, this is THE MOST advanced PDA Phone operating system out there.
(Wow, that rhymes.)
Too bad it’s a Microsoft, which means your phone will crash half the time and you’re gonna reset it almost EVERY SINGLE FREAKIN’ DAY.
It’s true. I woke up late for a dinner once because my phone hanged and the alarm didn’t go off. Dammit Bill Gates, FIX the core issues first BEFORE updating your product!
I used the RM500 I saved from not buying the O2 Atom to get myself a wallet-sized portable ‘Bluetoot’ keyboard from ThinkOutside.
It’s pretty cool.
And voila! A full-sized keyboard right in front of ya!
Blogging on the go. Woot!
I had the Sony Ericsson K700i before this and although it had served me well for a good 14 months, I find it falling short in many areas as the perfect all-in-one mobile device. For my PDA, I had the trusty 4-year-old Compaq iPAQ 3870 which I find too bulky, so usually I left it at home to rot when I go out of the house.
What I need is a gadget, small enough to fit into my pants, combines all the functionalities of phone, PDA, and a basic camera to take those rare once-in-a-lifetime shots.
Of course I could always do this…
… but heh, I think I want something a lil more practical. 😉
Happy Australia Day!